First and foremost, we hope that you and yours are healthy and safe in the wake of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
Our hearts go out to all those that have been directly affected by this health crisis. You already know that our collective new normal involves the most radical changes to daily life. For the Arrow community specifically, you’re concerned about changes to your fertility and/or prenatal care, upcoming birth plans, a postpartum defined by social distancing, or balancing work with children at home. In that vein, the Arrow team has curated the following practical tips to help families navigate these crucial topics. And don’t forget that we’re all in this thing together – we WILL come out of this having learned just how strong and resilient we really are.
- Please know the facts and don’t panic. Unlike influenza, pregnant people who become infected with COVID-19 do not seem to become sicker than non-pregnant women of the same age. That means that if you’re pregnant and positive for COVID-19 it is unlikely that you will need to be hospitalized. The current available statistics state that the likelihood of a woman under the age of 50 dying (pregnant or not) from the COVID-19 infection is far less than 1%.
- If you’re having a low-risk healthy pregnancy, ask your OB or Midwife if you can space out your visits and/or communicate non-urgent questions in a format that supports social distancing. (Patient portals, phone calls, emails, telehealth, etc.) Some providers are swiftly moving toward a telemedicine format for non-urgent visits, so contact your provider and see if yours is one of them. Of course, this will not work for high-risk pregnancies unless your provider deems it appropriate.
- Don’t forget about Arrow’s remote education and consulting services! Are you or someone you know expecting a new babe? Our Discover Education Course is temporarily 50% off to support social distancing. And Arrow’s Expert Consultants are standing by to offer expertise from the safety of your own home, on every topic from fertility to pregnancy and birth, to postpartum and navigating work/life balance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of our education and consulting services have always been remote, so you and the Arrow Team will never be put at risk while engaging in our services. Now more than ever is the time to invest in on-demand experts like midwives, birth and postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, therapists and more, from home.
- Embrace what is. Resisting what is currently happening in the world, or even your own daily life, causes one to increase suffering, which in turn suppresses our immune systems to function optimally.
- Foster an optimistic mentality. Wondering how to do that, especially in times like these? Anytime you or someone feels down, or has negative thoughts/comments, immediately list EVERYTHING to be positive for in that moment. Right now, mine is fast internet and the fact my hubby is working from home for the indefinite future.
- Practice an abundance of self-care. This can look different for everyone but the art of slowing down has profound effects on our overall well-being. Meditate, walk or jog around the block (while practicing safe social distancing), do yoga, bake, take a hot bath, or read something you love, preferably not about coronavirus. Personally, I can’t wait to dive into Glennon Doyle’s new book, Untamed.
- Get dressed everyday (or atleast M-F) to combat cabin fever and feeling sluggish for weeks. The rest of your wardrobe is getting jealous of your pj’s.
- Schedule a weekly time for family meetings to address how the increased time together at home is going, and to answer little one’s questions about their abrupt change in lifestyle.
- Schedule a weekly partner/spouse meeting. Coordinate schedules so both partners get ample work and free time, especially if you’re sharing the added responsibility of little one(s) at home. And don’t forget to discuss the equitable division of the increased invisible labor within the household, as this will surely increase with family members all at home.
- Involve kids in age appropriate chores – your home will be messier with everyone in it all. the.time. and cleaning/tidying shouldn’t fall on any one (or two) people.
- Lean in on virtual communities that fill your cup. (FaceTime, positive online groups, online fitness and yoga classes, Arrow’s instagram, ;))
- At times like this (and even in “normal” times) so many of us describe feeling overwhelmed. It’s important to understand where feelings come from – from thoughts. When you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed (or any negative feeling), catch your thoughts and rephrase them. E.g., “I have to teach my kid(s), clean my house and balance working from home”…to “I *get* to teach my kid(s) in my own unique way, clean my house that I’m grateful for, and balance my work that contributes to my family and me”.
- Schedule “unplugged time”, either certain hours daily or one day/week – get the whole family on board in a creative and fun way.
- Stay active. You can do old school push-ups or anywhere, and a walk or jog around the block is fine if you keep 6’ from others.
- When in doubt, blast the music and have a dance party!
- READ together! Nothing transports you and your family (or growing family) like a captivating story. Take the time to slow down and savor good literature as a family.
- Remember how wonderful it was to have a pen-pal as a child?! Bring back this cherished tradition, have each family member choose a pen-pal and write real handwritten letters (the best kind of letters!) to your pen-pal(s).
- For working from home parents, create a green sign (you can come in and talk to me), and a red sign (I’m working and you can only interrupt for an emergency) on your office door. Explain to kids what they mean and foster a (simple) positive reward system when they utilize them.
- Don’t forget your sense of humor! What did the duck say when she bought lipstick?…Put it on my bill!
- Facetime with loved ones. Virtual dinners or happy hours is so 2020.
- With kiddos – set up age appropriate tinker/creative stations. As simple and a bucket of whatever art supplies you have on hand or a collection of recycling or loose parts (nuts/bolts/etc.). Boredom is beneficial in that it fosters an outlet for untapped creativity.
We hope you find these tips helpful as we all embrace social distancing and navigate the novel coronavirus. Please take what works for you and yours, and share with others that could also benefit from them. As always, your Arrow Family is here to support you – you can reach us directly through our @arrowbirth Instagram account and/or @ ArrowBirth.com/contact. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
The Arrow Team